When should I have my baby’s picture taken?
Custom professional portraiture is an investment that can stretch the budget and/or take time from a busy family's schedule! Of course I think it one of the most important areas to spend money and time once the essentials are covered!
My favorite way to memorialize Baby’s First Year would be at least four photo sessions: Maternity, Newborn, Six Months, and One Year. (Or even every three months if you’re as crazy as me about photos!) But maybe that sounds overwhelming or expensive or you just really want one great portrait of your baby to be cherished forever. What kind of portrait can you expect at each stage?*
Newborn: Posed newborn photos like you see here are taken in studio when baby is about 7-10 days old. We create beautiful, artistic images with baby asleep and curled up, and it is such a beautiful way to capture the earliest, littlest, sweetest days.
Three to four months: At three months, most babies are making eye contact and smiling and starting to laugh. They still can’t hold their head up well or for long and are still pretty little, but if you prefer images with Baby awake and smiling at camera, this is the earliest we are likely to get it.
Six Months: Around the middle of the first year, whenever Baby is sitting independently pretty well, we can get really classic baby photos – if you want to dress Baby in a special outfit, now is the time – although I do also have outfits here! With the ability to sit up and have head control, we get more variety in the gallery than at three or four months – and usually babies haven’t developed stranger anxiety yes so will still be happy to play with me and we often get great smiles. It’s also a great time for family portraits.
Nine Months: Very similar to six months – if your baby is speeding toward his or her fist birthday and you realize babyhood is nearly over and you have only cell phone pictures, this is the perfect time to come! Baby may now have some stranger anxiety, but usually as long as Mom stays near, will warm up and be happy. My absolute favorite at this age is Mommy-and-Me – I love to create special mom and baby images.
One Year: What an amazing milestone! You survived your first year of parenting and your baby is quickly losing that baby look and turning into a toddler! A one year session reflects this transition – some images look like baby pictures, and some look more like “kid” pictures! It’s a great time to bring a special outfit, have a family picture if you haven’t yet, and we can either keep things simple and classic, or go all out with a theme and a cake! One thing to be aware of is that it is possible to have an entire 12-month-old session and get not a single smile - so much is going on developmentally right now that often those babies who were all smiles and giggles a month ago are suddenly cautious and serious. We get the “One-Year-Old Stare” quite a lot! I love these images so much, but sometimes families are disappointed, so I like to warn ahead of time. We also have to work quickly because babies this age are sometimes over it after about 20 minutes – so know that we may only get to one outfit!
Looking forward, development slows a bit after the first year, so annual sessions are a perfect way to record each stage. At two years old, children are possibly at their absolute cutest – and of *course* also the most difficult to photograph! Sometimes studio sessions don’t work at all – they are busy and curious and not interested in sitting where you want them to. I often suggest we take a two year old outside and I just run after them with a camera catching them at play. They really are still babies and we can’t really expect them to understand what we need them to do, and they are still too little to bribe! But I still think this is possibly the cutest human age!
At three years old, some children can start to understand directions, but sessions will likely still be quite short, or involve heading outside to play. At this point, and in subsequent years, how we approach the session depends a lot on the child’s personality, so I will want to know ahead if your child is energetic and outgoing and always on the move, or quiet and reserved and needing time to warm up to new situations.
Of course no matter the type of portrait session, the key to success is communication with your photographer! The more we talk beforehand, the better I understand just what you are hoping for from your session and will do everything in my power to make it happen! I can’t wait to create special images for your family!
*(Keeping in mind of course that babies are all different and development certainly varies! And if your baby is delayed or has special needs, we can of course tailor the session for their particular abilities.)